Many of India’s metropolises are among the most populous and fastest-growing cities in the world.
New Delhi, the national capital, is an exception among Indian cities. Unlike many others, it is a relatively new, planned city, which was built intentionally to serve as a capital for the former British Indian Empire. Its foundations were laid in 1911 in an area which had been the site of several ancient Indian cities.
Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka and the third most populous city in India, is a fast-growing metropolis. It is sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India”, due to its leading role in the IT business. Bangalore is also home to many renowned research institutions.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, served as the national capital until New Delhi took over. It is still considered the cultural capital of India. After a period of economic stagnation in the wake of India’s independence, Kolkata once again enjoys an economically vibrant climate.
Last but not least, you have Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, the capital of Maharashtra and the richest and most populous city in India. Its deep natural harbor holds India’s most important maritime trading post and contributes to making Mumbai the commercial capital of India.
As the home of the “Bollywood” film industry, Mumbai is India’s undisputed entertainment capital. It is perceived as a city of opportunities attracting numerous Indian migrants from other parts of the country. Foreign business people, companies, and investors also flock to Mumbai.
Many embassies and consulates have outsourced the visa application process to an agency. Please refer to the nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate to find out which agency, if any, is responsible for your visa application.
In addition to the more specific requirements outlined below, you must bring a passport valid for a minimum of 180 days, two recent passport-size photographs, and a completed application form, which can be downloaded from every Indian embassy’s website.
There are a number of visa categories for India. In addition to tourist, student, entry, transit, and medical visas (the latter aimed at medical tourists), there are several types of visas meeting expats’ different profiles.
Depending on your visa type and the length of your stay, you may also have to register locally, usually within 14 days of arrival. We cover registration with the local authorities in our separate guides to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
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